Monday, April 14


How on earth can I already be at 20 weeks!?!! I'm halfway through this second pregnancy already, and time is FLYING by. We have our second OB appointment tomorrow, complete with scheduled ultrasound, so hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow we will be that much closer to coming to a conclusion about the birth process for this baby.

I had a friend tell me yesterday at church that we don't have control over birth, and to some extent I do agree - God is sovereign over all, including how our birth stories progress and end. But there are some things that we DO have control over, and in those situations, knowledge is power!! It surprises me how little people research and study and plan when it comes to birth.

I know that since Aaron joined us, I have done a lot of research in general, and I wish I'd known half of what I do now then. I wish I'd done more reading on c-sections instead of just assuming that it wouldn't happen to me and avoiding the topic altogether.

So here is my question - what things, looking back on your birthing experiences, did you WISH you had known before you went into birth? What things would you advise a brand new mom-to-be to be cautious of?

Oh, and it goes without saying, but please remember to keep your comments non abrasive, as there are tons of differing opinions in this particular arena. I'm just wondering what your experience has taught you in regard to birth.


Rachel said...

I wish that I had read the book that Alicia has mentioned on her blog, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I know that doesn't pertain to my birth experience but it was a bit of a challenge because I was not knowledgeable enough about sleep cues etc.

I knew that nursing would have its challenges but I was a bit unprepared for the extreme soreness and pain. However, I was DETERMINED to breastfeed and thankfully, I finally was able to work through some difficulties.

I would advise brand new moms to remember to be thankful in all things and to rejoice evermore. Yes, our hormones are all over the place after we give birth but claiming God's promises is imperative. I became VERY sick after giving birth to Michael but I knew that I had to "give thanks", "pray without ceasing" and "rejoice evermore". It helped me to keep my eyes on God and His plan for me than to give in and have a pity party. Just my two cents:). It's probably not exactly what you were looking for but God taught me more about Himself in that week when I was so ill than I could have ever learned otherwise.

Alicia said...

I wish I would have been more assertive with my pediatrician. After both Chloe and Clive's births I was told by the pediatrician to supplement with formula hence have not been able to breastfeed solely. I wish I would have ignored their advice and gone on the confidence of my own intuition and mothering experience.

This doesn't relate particularly to birth but to the newborn days - I wish I would have been a bit more prepared for the newborn fussiness stage. It took me by surprise (must have been new-mom forgetfulness) and then made our first few months miserable because we weren't prepared with a sleep plan.

Sounds like you are VERY well-prepared already and you still have 20 weeks to go! Way to go, girl!

Karen said...

TOTALLY understand about the pregnancy flying by. I'm almost 32 weeks. Scary.

I wish someone would've told me that "feeling the urge to push" is a ridiculous alternative to getting an epidural booster. Just kidding... sort of. Honestly, though, I was 100% NOT prepared for that pain whatsoever. And when I hear women talk about how little they felt as their babies crowned, etc... wow. I will not make that mistake again.

And I wish I would've done more research & study on breastfeeding. I was--and still am--an avid breastfeeding advocate, so I didn't think I needed to do all that much study. It's a natural thing, right?! Wow. This time around, I will eat higher-fat foods, drink even more water, and sleep a lot more in those first weeks & months.

Rosemary and Dale said...

Good luck with your very important research. Sorry, I am not much help in the baby delivery category. (been TOO many years!) But I was thinking of your during my daily reading of the Word today which was from Ps 27, 31 "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord. In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me, DELIVERY ME SPEEDILY; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me."
My prayers are for God's guidance at your appointment tomorrow, ...and, as always, for the health of you and your precious little one.
Take care. Love, Aunt Rosemary

Ruth said...

Jenny - - I am SO out of the loop...had no idea you are expecting!!! YEA!!! So excited for you!'s what I would advise new moms - - particularly first-time moms.

Get your birthing classes and breastfeeding classes done sometime around month seven! I had neither class since I went into labor four weeks early and I wish I had scheduled the classes earlier.

Breastfeeding IS hard work. Rewarding, but hard work. And in the beginning it may be painful. I always say mark the calender for two weeks after the first day of breastfeeding. Give yourself those two weeks to be extremely patient with yourself and adjust to breastfeeding. The pain will go away!! Also...not all babies just "open wide" and latch on!

One more thing...breastmilk does not "dry up" in just one day. The hospitals like to convince new-time mothers that if they miss even ONE feeding...the milk supply will just "disappear". At least my hospital likes to scare moms!

Hope this helps. Once again, my love, prayers, and congratulations are with you and your family!!!! :)

Busch family said...

Congrats on being 20 weeks already! It's amazing how fast the time flies by. :)
Hmm - things I wish I would've known beforehand: 1. Breastfeeding does hurt at first (at least it did for me!). Have something on hand to help BEFORE you come home from the hospital!
2. People aren't kidding when they tell you to have your bags packed ahead of time! Husbands are wonderful to help with last-minute packing, but there are certain articles of clothing that they don't wear that we do, and they may forget said articles when rushing you out the door after your water breaks!

I agree with you completely about doing research to find out all you can about the birthing process. I felt like I just had absolutely no clue what to expect, and it helped me to feel a little more confident to know all I could about the possible outcomes. Kevin and I decided to take a Bradley class before Silas was born and we were so thankful that we did. It was really informative. We ended up waiting too long to get to take the class with other people and had to pay for private classes that would fit our schedule. I was sad that we had to spend the extra money, but the knowledge was wonderful and I really enjoyed getting to know our teachers one-on-one. I kept all my notes and things from the class so I definitely need to review! I felt like I was drinking from a fire hose during that class, so I'm sure I've forgotten a lot! :)

One other thing I would add for a new mom and dad would be to be confident in whatever dr you choose to see the baby after he/she's born. We had a scary incident when Silas was a day or two old, and, had we gone with a pediatrician instead of our family practice, we would've had peace of mind much sooner! Not that family practices are bad or anything (I loved my dr!), but they just didn't specialize in infants, so we were on our own there for awhile.

Thanks for posting about this Jenny! It's such a comfort to me to know that God is truly in control of all of this! :)

Tim & Richelle said...

After having gone through 7 deliveries, in very different circumstances - I say make your plans but then you have to be flexible to adapt to whatever does/does not happen. As you said - He is sovereign.

I've learned to be gently assertive, but even when in labor, I have a testimony to keep.

Memorizing Bible verses/passages that deal with God and His control of all that I memorize as I practice breathing has also been a good strategy - especially for the last two where tylenol was the option for pain... during labor and delivery.

Another important one - Mama's lap is always big enough for at least one more... especially when helping a little one adjust to a newer and littler one.

Don't try to live up to someone else's expectations of what you can/cannot do after having given birth - my capacities have varied greatly depending on circumstances. You are the best ones to determine what your family can/cannot handle during that special time of transition.

Those are a few ideas that pop into my head right away...

Carrie said...

I agree that doing research is so important, and that knowledge is power! I did quite a bit of reading before having my first, but looking back, I wish I would have done even more, and explored my options even further. Don't get me wrong, I had a great first birth experience, but I think there are ways I could have been better prepared.

As you know, I'm a big fan of homebirth, and I would highly encourage other ladies to look into that option, but at the same time I don't want to push it too much because a lot of people just wouldn't be comfortable with that (which I can totally understand, as I wasn't comfortable with the idea either, for my first). Most of my friends aren't interested in pursuing such a thing, so I just keep quiet, but happily share my positive experience if they happen to ask. :)

Another thing I tell new moms--not really about birth, but about new mommy-hood in general--is something I read in a book: The first 6 weeks are the hardest. Once you get past that, things seem to fall into place much better and you realize you're going to survive after all. :)

This was such a great question and I hope you won't mind if I borrow it and ask for similar input on my pregnancy blog! I have really enjoyed reading everyone's answers and have gotten some good encouragement from the other ladies here.

Sorry I wrote a book here . . . Hope your appt. today went well and that you were able to get some more questions answered!

TwoMuths said...

Wow, thank you all so much! You have given some great advice and things to think about! (Of course I don't mind you borrowing the idea, Carrie! I'll get more ideas from the ladies who respond on your blog!!) ;-)